A Look Back at 2007

One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year was to get more involved with GNOME and / or Ubuntu when the year started. Having used Ubuntu since it was first released, and Linux and GNOME specifically since 1999, I really wanted to give something back. After being utterly confused on where to even start with Ubuntu due to the number of volunteers and convoluted processes, I decided to start with GNOME.

I started the year strong, volunteering to help GNOME with the website revamp, including writing a few pages of content for the revamp, and editing a few more. (The new site still isn’t out so not sure if they’ll be using it or not).

I also volunteered to create a GNOME Live CD in January, and after a week or two of researching, was introduced to Ken VanDine who had also offered to help. Turns out Ken is the lead developer of Foresight Linux, and using the Conary and rPath tools, it was easy for him to create not just a Live CD, but other images including VMWare and QEMU as well.

In talking to Ken, and looking for more information on Foresight, I started hanging out in Foresight’s IRC channel on Freenode, and was impressed with the community, their communication and willingness to help others. See the June Foresight Newsletter for more.

And that began my journey in to Foresight. I installed Foresight shortly after, and just started helping out, first by answering questions in IRC (even when they were the wrong answer), and then really diving in, writing the monthly newsletter and then working on documentation. First developing the userguide on the wiki, and then teaching myself docbook and writing and publishing the userguide in Docbook to be included in Foresight.

Additionally with Foresight, I’m trying to help as a project manager, including keeping tabs on the different workstreams and communication within the group. I’ve been testing the first alpha of Foresight released in early November, and last but not least, continue to work on being a bugmaster and triage issues and tasks in JIRA.

I’m also happy with getting the Twin Cities Linux Usergroup meetings back off the ground after a two year hiatus, even though I haven’t had time to help out in the last few months in planning or organizing meetings.

The resolution I didn’t get to was creating my first podcast. I’ve had the songs picked out, but Jokosher didn’t work exactly as I hoped (as Audacity isn’t in our repos). I also wasn’t happy with my microphone quality. I’ll have to work on this one for next year.

Overall, a great year, and I’m very happy in being able to give back and help out, and looking to do more in 2008!

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